The Delhi Legislative Assembly has constituted a new committee named ‘Committee on peace and harmony’ pursuant to which the Delhi government has laid down the guidelines surrounding fake news, hate mongering and inflammatory messages that are shared on Whatsapp or other social media platforms.
The committee is headed by Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) MLA Saurabh Bhardwaj who announced on March 05, 2020 that a massive campaign against fake news shall be launched.
If a person is caught sharing fake news or any such messages that are likely meant to invite tensions and violence, a 3-year jail term can be imposed. The committee on peace and harmony of the Delhi legislative assembly has launched a whatsapp service as well as an email helpline where citizens can report such messages. “If you find anyone sharing communally inflammatory messages or video on WhatsApp or any Social Media platforms (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.) then immediately send the screenshot or video to us,” says the advertisement.
“If you are in a whatsapp group or a chat group and someone sends a provocative message, then become a whistleblower by filing a complaint about it. The committee will propose a reward of Rs. 10,000 if the FIR gets registered on your complaint,” AAP MLA Saurabh Bhardwaj said.
A campaign against fake news had also been launched on radio. The committee has put forth that messages will be sent to the Delhi police for examination.
"We will apprise the people that if anyone shares fake news, hate content or a rumour, which can cause enmity between two communities, then it is a criminal offence which can invite a jail term of three years. We will seek complaints from people through the campaign in radio, newspapers and other media platforms,” Saurabh Bhardwaj said.
This move has come after the northeast side of Delhi witnessed riots wherein 45 people were killed.
Author - Dyuti Pandya